Wisconsin toyed around with Michigan for a half, but broke the game open in the second half beating the Wolverines 24-10 in Madison. Jonathan Taylor ran for 132 yards on 19 carries against the 10th ranked defense in the country per Bill C’s S&P+.
Miami brings the 21st ranked defense into the Orange Bowl to face the Badgers. Paul Chryst and Jim Leonhard will bring a true Big Ten style of play with a lot of tight ends and h-backs looking to run the football and play hard nosed defense.
Here are three plays from the Michigan at Wisconsin game from 2017 to analyze.
Michigan 50/50 Endzone Fade
We all know that Mark Richt and the Miami Hurricanes love the 50/50 fade in the end zone. They’ll run it with guys that are 5’6 and more reasonable players that are over 6’2. It helps to throw the jump balls to taller players, especially ones that played basketball at a high level and understand body control and boxing out for the ball. Miami has to stop throwing it to little guys and take advantage of the size of Lawrence Cager who is 6’5 or Darrell Langham who stands at 6’4.
Miami can motion a weapon like Braxton Berrios away from Cager or Langham, which will draw the safety and allow for the one-on-one match up. Malik Rosier has to throw this football out and away, allowing it to only be caught by his man or float out of bounds. That, or it has to be a back shoulder comeback, but that’s really not the 50/50 fade ball.
Wisconsin Split Zone Play-Action Pass
The Badgers love bringing in more tight ends and fullback types than anyone in America and from there creating gaps. Using bunched sets they create more gaps than the defense can handle inside, or the defensive backs come inside and it leaves space outside for Jonathan Taylor the exciting freshman.
Extra gaps were created and the box was tight. The Badgers ran a split zone action in the back field but it was a play-action pass. The Badgers quarterback, Alex Hornibrook, has an outlet route open to the bottom of the screen but instead chooses to throw the ball deep and into double coverage. He’s turnover prone and boneheaded mistake prone and that could mean the Turnover Chain can redeem itself after a disappointing defensive showing against the Clemson Tigers.
Wisconsin False Pull End Around
How do I even begin to explain this beautifully designed play? The Badgers have the line and H-Back on the top of the screen pull wide into the backfield. The line at the bottom of the screen will pull to the top side of the screen tight, more like a down block. They down block and shed and are freed up at the top of your screen. This allows them to kick the cornerback to the side line so the receiver can run underneath it.
From there the other lineman can wrap through to lead block, and no one is even there to lead block. The end around is so open that that lineman runs down field and a second lineman is there waiting for defensive backs on the pursuit angle. The linebackers all bite on the initial wide pull and clog up the gap that’s there for the fake power play. It’s a thing of beauty that even a Don Brown defense couldn’t handle.
Miami has the speed and athleticism to beat the Badgers at home in the Orange Bowl. It’s just about getting the program focused surrounded around the dud of an ACC Championship Game, and with the focus on the early signing period and the holidays.